Wednesday, August 31, 2011


I have been under-the-weather for almost two weeks now. Without going into too many uncomfortable details, I will just say that by evening after I have succumbed to hunger, and eaten something, I have to stay close to home. I thought it was a "stomach bug" but that would have passed by now. I go to NYC tomorrow for my dad's wedding, arriving home late Monday night. Please excuse the long delay between collections. Trust me, I would much rather be fully functioning than home taking Tums...among some stronger medicines. I hope to be back soon!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Day 212- Aug. 18, 2011

life guard tower 26 - Santa Monica, CA
trash collected for 20 minutes
3.3. pounds collected
803.1 pounds total

This post will be short and sweet. For almost a week now, a summer cold and a stomach flu bug have ganged up on me. Needless to say, they are winning. 

It feels like years since I have been in the water or at the beach to collect. 

But I do have one great link to share - DESTINATION GLOBAL GOOD - My friend Jess Cramp is taking the Cook Islands by storm. Here is her most recent blog update with tons of pictures! 

Go to CARE 2 PETITION'S CHICO BAG page and help them get the upper hand on the lawsuit that two prominent plastics manufacturers are trying to silence them with. 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Day 211- Aug. 16, 2011

life guard tower 26 - Santa Monica, CA
trash collected for 20 minutes
3.6 pounds collected
799.8 pounds total

Advertising is powerful. I remember when these packages, seemingly revolutionary back then, hit the market. Oh the fun of poking that straw through that plastic bulls-eye! It's almost thirty years later, and I still remember my early encounter with Capri Sun.

My friend is taking the power of graphic design, advertising, the campaign poster and rolling them into one big push to get the word out about GLOBAL WARMING. A word for Texas Gov. Perry...IT'S HAPPENING WHETHER YOU "BELIEVE" IT IS OR NOT. Science is not contingent on personal belief....I digress. 

Let's help Susannah spread the word, shall we? There's no dissent among scientists that the earth's temp. is rising because of human actions. But clearly everyone hasn't gotten the memo. Time to change that. 

"How do you make a film as "green" as possible?  That is the challenge for Project Green, a sustainable film making initiative launched by NOMAD Films and Global Action Plan Sweden.  

The only American participants are Creative Migration, a not-for-profit organization that produces documentary films promoting socially engaged art projects.  

Their short film is on GREEN PATRIOT POSTERS, a project that brings together the strongest contemporary graphic design promoting sustainability and the fight against climate change.  

This campaign uses dynamic posters to encourage citizen participation in building a sustainable economy. " 

I have two tales to re-tell. 

One: Researchers in South African were chumming the waters, watching four sharks in the area for their work when one of them breached (jumped) out of the water and landed on their boat! 

They poured water over the shark's gills and radioed for help. This is a real account of compassion shown to an animal that clearly made a mistake when she launched herself out of the water and landed in their boat. Here's the whole story.

A dear family friend emailed me a link to this video of a family helping a young humpback whale off the coast of Mexico untangle itself from gill nets. Grab some tissue before watching this one. The kid's comment at the end makes you appreciate the folk term, "Out of the mouths of babes." 


And lastly, (I guess I had three tales to tell), a perfectly healthy sea lion came ashore on Venice Beach in early Aug. bleeding from three gunshot wounds. Beach goers were scared. They chased her back in the water. She washed up later on that afternoon dead. 

There is a 5,000K reward for anyone who has info. on who could have shot her. Fishermen sometimes do this to sea lions that they feel are a risk to 

I've been in the water a lot lately. I saw two sea lions in the surf yesterday morning and another last week. They are not my favorite to encounter in the water, I'll take a dolphin any day. But I had to wonder if the one who got shot recently shared a wave with me and my friends.  Santa Monica Beach (pictured above) is a "shell's throw" from Venice. Not far for a healthy sea lion to swim up from...

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Day 210 - Aug. 13, 2011

life guard tower 26 - Santa Monica, CA 
trash collected for 20 minutes
5 pounds collected
796.2 pounds total

A couple of Sundays ago, CBS Nightly News aired a piece on The Daily Ocean. Since then I have been contacted by a few people to let me know that they felt inspired after watching it. A couple of them have taken it upon themselves to start their own efforts. 

Here is one man's blog - JUST TEN MINUTES A DAY - a call to action for dog walkers to bring an extra bag for the liter you see on your trail. Please support his efforts by visiting the blog, leaving a comment, and remembering your own bag whether you let us know or not. Thank you.

Another woman from Oregon (an artist married to a marine biologist) emailed me that although her and her husband are not directly involved in the pollution of plastics and other debris in the ocean, they have started a non-profit in the Bahamas to educate people about the depletion of important fisheries. 

After returning from our research expedition this past May, I feel very strongly about the depletion of fisheries and what we can do to stop the decline. Please take a minute to go over to their site, and pass it on. Thanks.

PEW Charitable Trust has an interaction shark conservation map with a campaign called 

"Sharks are once again mesmerizing millions of viewers as part of Shark Week. But in reality, the tables are turned, and it's sharks that are struggling to survive."

(Shark week was the beginning of August but the site is still up)

Sharks are fascinating animals that have been around since well before the dinosaurs but humans are killing them by the millions each year. Can we keep these pre-historic creatures from going extinct before it is too late and the rest of the marine eco-system sustains catastrophic consequences because of their disappearance? Go read PEW's website to find out how. 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Day 209 - Aug. 10, 2011

life guard tower 26 - Santa Monica, CA
trash collected for 20 min.
6 pounds collected
791.2 pounds total

A little red bucket
got left in the sand
 cause' someone said f(*#-et

"Earlier this summer I gathered a group of leading neuroscientists, ocean explorers, advocates, communicators and creative people together in a room at the California Academy of Sciences to begin to answer this question, and many others. We called the amalgamation of thinkers BLUEMIND and set out to explore the science behind the relationship between the human brain and the ocean." - HOW COOL IS THAT!!!!!!!!!

This past week, I spent four days in an intensive conference on writing for young people hosted by SCBWI (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators -- and yes they know it's a hell of a moniker.)

I signed up for round table critiques, one-on-one slice-and-dice-em critiques with a seasoned editor who gave me hope in the form of two books to read before sending me on my way to revise, and listened to keynotes by authors I admire for more reasons than I have space to share here, or that would keep your attention as I geeked on about books. 

Amongst all of the inspiration was the repeating message not to give up, that publishing is hard, that writing is even harder, and that rejection is "par for the course."

How does my pursuit of writing novels for middle school students relate to The Daily Ocean? I've wanted to give up on both. I've wanted to hide how long it has taken me to "polish" that manuscript, to get my butt out to the beach for cleanups, and I've wanted to tip-toe away slowly. I ask myself, "Would anyone really notice?"

And I realized after reading this piece on Yahoo! yesterday that I would! The author of "The Help" was rejected 60 times. 60 times! But she asks the question, "What if I had given up?"

So here I am, at my desk, ready to write some really bad pages, feeling like I am taking way to long to finish this freakin' project, and "embracing the suck!" as YA author-goddess
LIBBA BRAY said just the other day. 

Who knows what will happen from here?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Day 208 - August 2, 2011

life guard tower 26 - Santa Monica, CA 
trash collected for 20 min.
3 pounds collected
785.2 pounds total

(until I update from my rock star friend Danielle's blog IT STARTS WITH ME - 82 DAYS & counting)
Arleen and Garen 
trash collected for 20 minutes
Arleen - 2.1
Garen - 2.1 
4.2 pounds total
711.7 pounds total


After the CBS Nightly News aired their segment last Sunday on The Daily Ocean, I got at least half a dozen comments from concerned viewers pleading with me to wear a glove.

I DO! Thank you for your kindness. I was touched by the time you took to write me a comment, send me an email, or a tweet to let me know that you wanted me to be safe when I went out for my collections. 

I usually wear a glove, and can't remember why I wasn't for part of that shoot. But thanks for your support and interest in The Daily Ocean!

My friend Arleen has been a supporter of this blog since she found me on twitter right after I got started. Lucky me that she is moving to Venice part time. She was here this week getting her house situated and so she came out for a cleanup to catch up since the last time I saw her. She's done cleanups with me before -- check one of them out here. 

Thanks Arleen for the good company, the good food last night, and of course for your friendship and support.

And so castles made of.....plastic? Fall into the sea, endlessly. Please excuse the poor paraphrasing of the timeless Hendrix classic, but I think you get the idea. 

I passed my hand through several plastic bags this morning in the surf while swimming out. It was low tide, the kelp was dense, and the synthetic detritus was floating around like ramen noodles. Its frustrating for me when I'm body surfing and I swim past trash. I could shove it in my rash guard...yuck! OR I could come back at the end of the day. I'm reinvested in this beach in a different way now that I spend 5-6 mornings a week in the water with my body surfing friends.

A kelp wave. 

While Arleen, Garen and I walked south

the sun set behind us with plenty of people enjoying a Southern California beach at low tide. We may have been the only people there to pick up trash in the setting sun, but we loved our walk just as much as the rest of them strolling along the shoreline. Thanks Arleen and Garen